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Arizona utility cranking up renewable energy with new wind farm

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Electric Power)

PHOENIX – A southern Arizona utility company recently announced plans for a new wind farm that will generate enough electricity to power nearly 100,000 homes.

Tucson Electric Power said in a press release last week that the Oso Grande Wind Project in southeastern New Mexico will help the company more than double its renewable energy use by 2021.

“This cost-effective system will become TEP’s largest renewable energy resource, accelerating our progress toward our clean energy goals while allowing us to help customers achieve their own sustainability objectives,” CEO David G. Hutchens said in the release.

Oso Grande will generate up to 247 megawatts, the release said, dwarfing TEP’s current largest renewable energy system, the 71-megawatt Red Horse wind and solar project near Willcox, Arizona.

The system of 61 wind turbines will be installed on 24,000 acres southeast of Roswell, New Mexico. The electricity generated will be delivered to Tucson via TEP’s transmission system in eastern Arizona.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year, and the system is expected to be up and running by the end of 2020.

“This new wind farm will complement our many solar arrays, producing some of its strongest output during the morning and evening hours when we have little or no solar production,” Erik Bakken, vice president of system operations and environmental, said in the release.

TEP has two other large clean energy projects in the works: the 99-megawatt Borderlands Wind Project in western New Mexico and the Wilmot Energy Center in southeast Tucson, which will have a 100-megawatt solar system and a 30-megawatt battery storage system.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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